MEXI LOG FEST 2017

It's paradise because it's freedom.

Mexi Log Fest 2017 in La Saladita, Guerrero was an uplifting gathering of wonderful people and a positive transformation of such a special place. Deemed “one of the greatest longboard events in the world,” by announcers, surfers, and residents alike, Mexi Log Fest radiated positive vibes all week long. It was a festival of firsts for playa La Saladita, where musicians, local vegan chefs, Mexican designers, and especially goofy footed surfers all got together to share their craft.

With a freaky-looking, massive long-term surf forecast, everyone was a bit on edge as the event crept closer. A couple cars full of Sayulita surfers arrived about a week early with their British and Aussie buddies to practice and lend a hand with the set-up. They explained to us that this left pointbreak had a particular draw for goofy-footers from all around the world because most traditional logging competitions take place at righthand breaks. Not to mention that the combined prize money of Joel Tudor’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational plus the Mexi Log Fest purse was the highest in history.

As the AS Design team worked on refreshing the clubhouse at Lourdes’ restaurant on the point, artist Scarlett Baily let loose painting murals everywhere from the elementary school to water towers and surfboards. LOOT’s chefs teamed up with Angustina restaurant to bring all the athletes and volunteers delicious healthy food each day. It was amazing to see the people of Los Llanos get together with Azulita Projects to clean up the streets and prepare to welcome hundreds of international travelers to this event! Surfers reported that entire planes were full of pros and extra long single-fin boards coming in for the festival from Los Angeles, Mexico City, and beyond.

Bright and early Thursday morning, the first heat kicked off at seven AM with big surf and groggy judges. Jaysea DeVoe led a short but sweet yoga flow before rushing off to compete! Claiming the roots of modern surf society, the practice of logging has stayed below the radar and maintained so much soul in its most recent resurgence since the 60’s. All week long, we witnessed acts of camaraderie, surfers running heavy boards back to the point with their friends, countless “chee-hoo’s” from the Hawaiian team, hugs, smiles, and straight-up fun.

After wrapping up the first day of competition, Mexi Log Fest judge and Duct Tape Invitational competitor, Kassia Meador, hung her gong and unpacked nesting quartz crystal bowls to lead a public sound bath meditation. She took the crowd on a healing sonic journey and spoke philosophically on the effects of all types of waves; those we enjoy in the ocean and the way sounds moves through our own watery bodies. The official Surf Film sessions took place later that night at Jacquelines’ restaurant down the beach, where everyone from groms to grandpas enjoyed the best of Mexican surf footage and even the premiere of Forbidden Trim, the newest wacked-out film from George Trimm.

The following night we enjoyed another epic film produced by Vans about Joel Tudor’s insanely cool surf style and anarchist hand in defining logging competition by fun. The waves were more accessible for logging performances and two live bands, Grtsch and Mylko got the stage warmed up for the first night of live music. The Vans Duct Tape Invitational launched early Saturday morning showing off extraordinary moves by the best in traditional longboarding. It’s a contest where sharing and downright goofing-off is highly encouraged, especially by the thousand dollar prize offered to the surfers with the best tandem wave. Each afternoon after the end of competition, pros and fans alike joined together in the water to enjoy a few more hours of Saladita surf coupled with rosy-orange sunsets.

Sunday, the fourth official day of Mexi Log surfing, was the finals and the smallest day of the contest. Competitors gave us a show in the early morning, then jumped in the water with some local kids to teach them to pop-up. Meanwhile, a pack of judges paddled out for an expression session and chance to shred with their old time friends. CJ Nelson from Santa Cruz ended up sweeping up first prize for both the Duct Tape Invitational and Mexi Log Fest, a massive personal victory for Nelson, who also calls Saladita home. Ryan Burch took second in both events, with Justin Quintal bringing up third in the Duct Tape, and Noah Shimabukuro and Tommy Witt in third and fourth, respectively, for Mexi Log. In the Women's PRO division, the graceful and down-to-earth Kaitlin Maguire swooped up first place, followed by sixteen year-old Mason Schremmer, and California babes Jen Smith, and Kristy Murphy, in third and fourth. Centavrvs wrapped up the festival with a powerful beachfront show, and the good vibes of Mexi Log Fest 2017 in playa La Saladita lingered on days after the festival had passed.

PHOTO CREDITS: NDGO, HEIDI Z AND ABDUL O